News & Politics  
comments_image Comments

The 10 Scariest GOP Governors: Bringing a Radical Right-Wing Agenda To a State Near You

The 2010 election saw a right-wing sweep of many state governor's races, and those governors haven't been shy about pushing their conservative shock treatment.

Continued from previous page

 
 
Share
 
 
 

Not so much.

Haley defeated the good ol' boys on the campaign trail despite rumors of a sex scandal, mostly by outflanking them to the right. She used her status as the child of immigrants to tout a new, extreme anti-immigration bill, and took to the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal to decry a decision by the National Labor Relations Board that Boeing was not able to circumvent its union workers by building new planes in non-union South Carolina. “It's called capitalism,” she wrote.

It's actually called union-busting. Boeing decided to move the assembly line to South Carolina after repeated strikes by the union workers in Washington State, and the NLRB ruled that the statements by company executives made it clear the move was in retaliation for union activity. Which is illegal.

Haley pushed for a picture ID law that would require voters to show ID at the polls before voting. In a state with a long history of disenfranchising people of color, the requirement, which makes it difficult for those without drivers' licenses to vote, brings back unpleasant memories.

Haley made national news before she'd even won her primary, but these days the news close to home isn't so good for her. “I believe she is the most corrupt person to occupy the governor’s mansion since Reconstruction,” John Rainey, a longtime Republican power broker told Corey Hutchins at the Nation. She's been replacing the old boys she promised to sweep out with confidantes and campaign contributors, and the only jobs she's created so far have been for close allies. Yet Sarah Palin-like, she remains popular on the national scale and appears to have far-reaching ambitions.

8. Jan Brewer, Arizona. It's Barack Obama's fault that we have Jan Brewer. Janet Napolitano was governor of Arizona, a popular Democrat in the state that gave us John McCain and Barry Goldwater. When she was tapped to become the new Homeland Security secretary, a border state with boiling-hot tension over immigration was left in the hands of the former Secretary of State, a Republican who went on to sign into law  SB 1070, the “Papers Please” law that spawned the copycats in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and other states around the country.

Brewer likes to talk about the violent crime immigrants are responsible for, claiming  “beheadings” despite absolutely no evidence, let alone links to immigrants, and blaming them for nearly every crisis her state (and the country) face.

She's also  signed a law that aims to prevent unions from using member dues to fund political activity, and just for good measure cut funding for  children's health care. She cut more than $72 million from health services, spearheaded a bill to eliminate KidsCare, the state's Medicaid program for children (though that failed, she pushed through an enrollment freeze on the program), and proposed eliminating the Early Childhood Development and Health Board. (Twenty-three percent of Arizona's children live in poverty).

In the interest of fairness, it is worth pointing out that  Brewer has vetoed some of the more extreme bills coming out of the Arizona legislature this year. A “birther” bill that would have required candidates for office to submit a “circumcision certificate” or a “baptismal” certificate if the “long form” birth certificate constantly demanded of President Obama was unavailable was too much even for Brewer. And after the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Brewer shot down a bill that would allow guns on “public pathways” close to state schools. State Senator Kyrsten Sinema told the  Daily Beast, though, that it's all part of a plan where legislators pass bills to satisfy extremist primary voters, and Brewer, who is not up for re-election, vetoes them.